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STEM News Roundup: Two Grades for How Nation's Schools Score in STEM, A or D

STEM News Round-Up: Two Grades for How Nation's Schools Score in STEM, A or D

This week in Science Technology, Engineering and Math news, experts discuss closing the STEM education gap, a text message game has children use STEM skills to solve clues, and leaders in the industry use their names to help advocate for STEM learning. 

Experts Discuss the STEM Education Gap in K-12 Schools

During an event held at the Washington Post, experts discussed education gaps in STEM education and the improvement that needs to happen to level the playing field for disadvantaged children.

"While students in high-income schools are winning Intel competitions, doing college-level research, and creating apps and inventions, many schools with majority African-American populations "don't even offer Algebra 2...The challenge for the department is how to go from excellence for some to excellence for all," said John King, a deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education according to Education Week.

In other words, while some places in the country would receive an A for STEM efforts, others would receive a D, he said, with no in-between when considering high and low income schools.

King discussed initiatives that included funding to focus on getting low-income students into STEM majors, such as the First in the World grant program.

Read more here. Note: Education Week is available through a tiered subscription model. 

Text Message Game Requires Users to Use STEM to Solve Mysteries

Innovators are constantly looking for ways to pique interest in STEM skills as soon as possible. In order to increase early exposure, many people are turning towards the use of games that require and teach STEM skills. And companies are right there ready to create these games.

Science Sleuth from DoSomething.org is a unique text message game that can be played simply by texting the letter CLUE to 38383 or learning more by visiting DoSomething.org/clue and is in its second year of operation.

This year, Science Sleuth will be joined by female scientists from 3M to act as mentors to young girls participating in the game to merge play and learning.

Moreover, participation in the game can also provide funding to STEM classrooms in need.

"Once they opt in [via text,] users will be given a variety of scenarios via text where they will apply their STEM skills to solve the mystery. At the end of the game, participants will unlock a grant from 3M to fund STEM classrooms in need through DonorsChoose.org to help fund STEM projects. Participants will also have the opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship by inviting three friends to play," DoSomething.org said in a statement.

Read more about the Science Sleuth STEM campaign here. 

Big Names Set to Join World's Largest Youth-Led Experiment

More big names in science will be joining the hundreds of thousands that will be participating in the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

Former astronaut Leland Melvin and lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong are now among the many leaders who will join the efforts, said the National 4-H Council in a statement.

"The national rallying event for 4-H Science,4-H NYSD is an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and spotlights the many ways millions of youth are engaging in 4-H Science programs year-round," the statement said.

"This year's experiment, 'Motion Commotion,' designed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension in partnership with Vernier Software & Technology, will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in a simulated activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion."

Read more here

Big Bang Theory Actress Advocates for Girls in STEM

Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik spends her time off the small-screen by advocating for girls' confidence in STEM.

"Even though most of her life is on set, the former 'Blossom' star makes time to spend on issues she finds important, like getting girls to feel confident when studying STEM subjects. Bialik is teaming up with Texas Instruments to make STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) 'cool.' She says she was lucky to have a strong female mentor when she was young," according to CBS News.

Her new campaign, #ilyTIcontest will have kids describe why they love their technology as well as seek to give young women the right impression of what it means to be in STEM.

Read more here.

 

 

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/15/2015

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